SLICK IN THE CITY, COMING TO SA: This is the new SsangYong Tivoli - an SUV vastly different to SY units of yore and with a mere 1.6-litre engine. Image: Newspress / SsangYong
SsangYong has announced the official launch of the SsangYong Tivoli, an all-new compact SUV expected by its maker to become a game-changer in its segment with "a compelling combination of innovative style and remarkable value".
The Tivoli had its global debut in Seoul on January 13 2015 and is expected in South Africa in mid-2015.
Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra said at the Seoul event: "The Tivoli is a significant milestone in the growing partnership between Mahindra and SsangYong. It epitomises the spirit of 'Korea Can Do' and reflects SsangYong's rich legacy of innovation in product development.
"The Tivoli is poised to drive SsangYong's growth".
SsangYong says the Tivoli is a strategic global model developed in the four years since the company was taken over by Mahindra.
"It will be a cornerstone in the company's quest to become a global SUV maker," the company said. "As SYMC's first compact SUV powered by a 1.6 engine on a platform with a targeted annual production of 100 000, the Tivoli will be a solid driver for SYMC's turnaround and mid- to long-term development."
SsangYong believes vehicle buyers are increasingly favouring an SUV because of the combination of performance, fuel economy, practicality and value they offer. "The Tivoli is poised," it says, "to become a competitive contender in this fast-growing category while confirming SsangYong's position as a leading SUV producer."
The newcomer's seen by its maker as having "an aesthetic approach of youth, energy and robustness in an overall design that will appeal to younger buyers seeking their first SUV".
'LARGEST BOOT IN CLASS'
The Tivoli's cabin design claims to follow a theme of compact style "by creating a smart and practical space where occupants experience the cabin's modern, luxurious execution". It adds: "The ergonomic design of the switches is of particular note, with bar-type buttons and touch-screen controllers."
The SUV is 1795mm wide to accommodate five passengers and 423 litres of luggage - which, the automaker says, is the largest in its class. "In fact, the Tivoli is the only vehicle in its segment with enough cargo space to accommodate three golf bags."
The second seating row can be folded flat to increase cargo capacity. The well-bolstered front bucket seats are stitched and quilted..
The 1.6 engine, designated e-XGi, took three years to being to life. It's rated at 94kW / 157Nm and turns a dual-clutch auto transmission.
Standard across all specification levels is a new SmartSteer system: three steps - normal, comfort and sport - depending on driver's preference.
SOUND AND VIDEO? NOT A PROBLEM
Passive safety measures include seven air bags, the odd one out a driver's knee bag. Though a collision is likely to be avoided with the car's large anti-lock disc brakes, electronic stability control, tyre-pressure monitors and diode daytime lights
The Tivoli has an HDMI connection to play sound and images from smart devices on an 18cm display (shared by the reversing camera) and through six speakers.
Additional features include a ventilated driver's seat, heating for the steering-wheel and all seats, a six-sensor obstacle detection system, luggage screen, automatic washer switch, and hazard lights that automatically activate under hard braking.
The Tivoli will be launched in South Africa in mid-2015.
THREE BAGS IN MY WAGON: SsangYong says the Tivoli has the biggest boot in its class. Image: Newspress / SsangYong